Online Exclusive: Create.Share.Unite program held to promote local art


By Laura Gomez,

Special to the Southern news-

Create , share, unite, says Stephen Grant, a communications major at Southern, and that is exactly how it went at ‘Koffee’ on Audubon Street last Friday.

Close to 30 people from a variety of backgrounds showed up at the coffee shop to make part of ‘Create.Share.Unite,’ an event hosted and created by Grant, better-known as Stevie, the host of ‘Radio Stevie’ on WSIN radio.

The purpose of the event was to create an outlet for people to showcase their talents and share them with “other creative beings” who can appreciate art and ideas, said Grant.

“On top of that,” he said, “this is an opportunity for people to build friendships, to build unity and togetherness, to be one as a community and shine.”

Grant said he wants to inspire people, a feat which many attendees said he accomplished. Several of them, despite not bringing anything to share, felt encouraged to create and share next month.

Olivia St. John, a student at Gateway Community College, shared her poetry, which her friend Paola Guevara, of New Haven, said was unexpected and touching.

St.John said she is happy to have had this opportunity to share her creations.

“I love being involved in this art community that we have right here in New Haven, it’s really wonderful,” she said, “especially right here at Koffee, this is the heart of the art district.”

According to St. John the turnout for the event shows how much the community needs and wants to be artistically involved.

“We don’t have enough art, we need more art. People are wanting to be involved in something like this,” she said.

Guevara was there to hula-hoop, she said, that is her form of art, but also attended simply to be immersed in what local artists are doing and be caught up in creativity.

“I didn’t even know my friend Olivia had poems to share,” she said, “it’s been an interesting evening, it’s been awesome, I love it!”

Guevara said she believes New Haven needs more community involvement in the arts. She said people should find time to reach out and connect through this event, despite their busy schedules and different career choices.

“People who aren’t necessarily in art schools or programs, are still creative people, that is what makes them flow and move,” said Guevara. “I think it is nice that we are finding each other, you know what I mean? Finding ourselves, finding our own creativity and our time for it.”

Dave Cole, a graduate from Paier College of Art, said he benefits form events like these because it helps his creative process.

“Being surrounded by all these creative people opens me up more,” said Cole. “[St.Johns’s] poetry, her standing up and doing that, seeing her do that, makes me feel more comfortable standing up and showing my art.”

Cole shared his drawings with the group.

He said he wished New Haven was even more artistic. He said he wants to see art “blasted on the walls” of the city and to see more events like ‘Create.Share.Unite’ come to life.

“I am so glad Stevie put this together” said Cole. “It’s awesome.”

Cole said events like these benefit the community because it is about young people coming together and showing others it is possible.

“It is about showing people that this is a good way to live,” he said.

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